Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)
Corneal cross-linking (CXL) is the process used to strengthen the collagen bonds of the cornea. The epithelial layer of the cornea is removed exposing the Bowman’s and stromal layers. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops are applied to the surface of the eye, then an ultraviolet light is used to activate the riboflavin, resulting in a chemical reaction that strengthens the microscopic bridges between corneal fibres within the stromal layers. These bridges prevent progressive thinning from developing further, strengthening and stabilizing the cornea.
This procedure is often used to treat and mitigate symptoms caused by:
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
- Ectasia (corneal thinning) caused by laser eye surgery complications
CXL may also be used to treat scarring secondary to specific cases of corneal ulcers. It may eliminate the need for corneal grafting, depending on the amount of corneal thinning and scarring; or may be used in conjunction with cornea grafting to help stabilize the cornea.